Resourceful Orefile comes up with creative ideas for making sanitary pads
A 29-year-old graphic designer is trying to ease the burden of women who have no money to buy sanitary pads by teaching them how to make their own, using materials that are easily available such as face cloths, plastic bags and even blankets.
Orefile Malebo from Bloemfontein cuts these materials into pieces and sews them together. She records video clips which she posts on social media networks like Facebook.
She said the idea behind the Sis Paddy project started when she was in school and saw how her peers were losing many school days due to lack of money to buy sanitary pads when they were on their periods.
When she was doing a thesis for a BTech degree at Free State's Central University of Technology (CUT), she did research on how to make cheap and reusable sanitary pads and promote them to young girls and women to alleviate the stress and anxiety they bear during their menstrual cycle period.
Malebo found several "safe" materials that could be used to make sanitary towels and used herself to test them.
"My hope is to alleviate the burden that comes with menstruation. Even when I was in school and in varsity, there were times when my period began and I didn't have sanitary towels and I had to ask [for them] from other girls.
"Women ask me to elaborate about the materials they can use to make these sanitary pads. I use these sanitary pads and they work for me. They are very low cost. I am just trying to make women and young girls take their power back and for them not to be embarrassed when they go through their periods... a process that is natural for women."